Croker reaches milestone in typical style

It was unfair but perhaps fitting that Canberra captain Jarrod Croker’s milestone effort against the Knights went under the radar.

The centre racked up 20 points, including a try, to go past 1000 points in his NRL career and help the Raiders beat Newcastle 44-22 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

Starring performances from halves Blake Austin and Sam Williams, and a dominant display from the Raiders pack stole the show for the visitors as they broke a three-game losing streak in the round 13 game.

Austin scored two tries and Williams had a hand in six of Canberra’s seven tries.

But in the background was the ever-reliable Croker, who landed six of seven conversions, two penalties and climbed high to take a Williams bomb before stepping his way to the try line to score in the 75th minute.

The tally took his career points to 1018 from 153 NRL games, and all at the age of just 24, with little fanfare.

Croker is closing on David Furner’s all-time points record for Canberra of 1218 and, given his age, Hazem El Masri’s NRL-high of 2418 does not look beyond him.

He also moved to 74 career tries across seven years of NRL, all with Canberra -Jason Croker holds the club record of 120.

Despite the impressive numbers, Croker remains a largely underrated and unsung star of the NRL.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, though, believes Croker will write his name into Canberra folklore many times over.

“Jarrod achieved a great milestone tonight,” Stuart said straight after the match.

“He scored his 1000th point, which is a wonderful milestone.

“Toots is going to go on and break all records at this club.

“I was really excited for Jarrod tonight because it’s a big effort, being so young in his career and achieving that.

“We just congratulated him there in the changerooms. It’s a huge effort for an individual.”

The Raiders moved to six wins from 13 games with the convincing victory over Newcastle and now enjoy a break before hosting the North Queensland Cowboys on June 20.

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